Dazzling synths, confusing hooks, Canada, 20-foot houseboats called the “Velvet Glove Cast in Iron” floating down the Mississippi in lieu of just reading the book? Count me in!
Claire Boucher is most definitely one quirky character; one just has to listen to a few of her cuts from her latest LP Visions to quickly come to the conclusion that she isn’t your garden variety gal. Leaving her houseboat Huckleberry Finn endeavors aside (you can, and are most definitely encouraged, to amuse yourself with that using good ol’ Google) I’ll be honest in saying that when tracking her work a few years ago with her releases of Geidi Primes and Halfaxa I wasn’t really impressed. Either that or I just couldn’t be bothered to try and dissect what she was about, the point mainly coming down to the fact that during those years she seemed to be throwing so many genres into a pot that they began to melt together improperly. With Visions she’s refined her recipe.
For once, the songs I’m hearing her insanely powerful voice sear through are almost immediately catchy in a sort of 80’s chinatown kind of way. What I mean by that is that she likes synthesizers. A lot. And samplers. I don’t know which she uses more, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the mixes of her songs each had about 14 layers of her voice just doing their thing. This most definitely is not a bad thing and unless you’ve somehow developed a form of audio epilepsy associated with her voice, this album will most likely invite rather than polarize. Not to say this album is ridiculously accessible, because it isn’t. However it is ridiculously accessible and streamlined in relation to her previous works, while tracks like ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Genesis’ (while sounding beautifully welcoming) do not tell the album’s whole story. Some tracks on here had me positively confused as to how they existed on the same album and one has to listen to ‘Eight’ only once to get my point.
That being said I thoroughly enjoyed this album, I think; I still can’t come to the conclusion as to whether her more polarizing tracks still need time to seduce me or still need time to find out a way to kill me (again via ‘Eights’ increasingly alarming German vocoder sample…).